Career Pathways Month
Superintendent Johnson Declares February Career Pathways Month
By: Elizabeth Lincicome
February 8, 2019
State Superintendent Mark Johnson held public events in Raleigh and Charlotte this past week to honor and declare February the official “Career Pathways Month” in North Carolina. The announcement aims to raise awareness among all public school students about the multitude of great career paths available to them.
“The path to a successful and fulfilling career is not just reserved for those with four years of college,” said Johnson. “Students have the opportunity to find a great career through apprenticeships, technical training, the military and a two-year associate degree, just to name a few.”
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction works closely with the state’s public schools and community colleges to help students decide which career path might best suit their talents in an increasingly global economy. CTE services are provided through eight program areas: Agricultural Education, Business, Finance and Information Technology Education, Career Development, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Health Science Education, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education, Technology Engineering and Design Education and Trade and Industrial Education.
The Raleigh event took place at North Wake College and Career Academy in Wake Forest, where Johnson was joined by its principal, Dr. Elizabeth Battle; N.C. Community College System President Peter Hans; as well as representatives of wide swath of the various career pathways, including students in nursing, hospitality, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship, as well as technicians, instructors, and members of the military.
Also in attendance was Mandy Hines, director of hospitality education for the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA). Her group is one of the key CTE partners connecting high school students with an interest in certain fields like the culinary arts or hospitality directly to that industry.
“We see students who are passionate about the culinary and hospitality industries and need to be connected right away to the community college system so as not to lose interest,” Hines said. “These programs are doing just that, which is something we can all be proud of.”
Superintendent Johnson has made one of his key priorities dispelling the myth that all students must earn a four-year degree to be successful. He said he knows that career accomplishments come in many forms, and that more and more students are finding it through alternative career pathways. Under Johnson’s leadership, NCDPI works with thousands of people day in and day out who share the common mission of ensuring all of North Carolina’s students can be successful if given the right opportunities. He stressed that an added emphasis on CTE programs will further aid in this effort.